So here it is – it’s only taken me six odd years since PumpingFit.com was launched to finally decide to publish my own personal blog.
So you may ask me….”Baris why publish a blog now?” Good question! Well a number of factors really. But I’ve been inspired by other blogs I’ve read – a big shout out to Ben Mallinson and his posts which are always a great read. You can check out the latest blog here: https://bennobull.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/607/.
I’ve also spent too much time ranting about all the things I feel are wrong with the bodybuilding and fitness industry either on social media or directly with friends in a conversation. Rather than bombard friends news feeds on Facebook or general group discussions at shows or gyms (which can piss people off at some point), why not use my own website as a platform, which will enable anyone remotely interested to read the thoughts of a bald, aging, gym freak Mediterranean, to do it at their own leisurely pace.
So a bit about me as not many who know me from Facebook, know the real me….not sure that made any sense but you get the drift (I hope).
I simply call myself a gym enthusiast while I’m also proud to have been a fan of bodybuilding for 30 years now. Its a sport I care about passionately. There are many great people in the sport who I respect immensely. They know who they are.
When I was 10, my best mate brought round a muscle magazine with a picture of then Mr Olympia Lee Haney (winning his second Sandow) with a youthful Rich Gaspari coming second on his debut. I was hooked! I continued to follow the sport and collected many magazines throughout the Haney era until Dorian Yates ruled the bodybuilding world. It’s thanks to him and his success that bodybuilding in the 90’s really took off in the UK as it became more acceptable as it attempted to get mainstream.
On a personal level I had many ups and downs in my twenties – long hours at work consistently for six years in a London based Publishing, Media and Events company pretty much killed me to the point of a breakdown with stress, heavy drinking, eating consistent junk food, relationship problems with girlfriends and debts from living an extravagant lifestyle. I was simply backed into a corner with nowhere to go. When you’re earning ridiculous amounts of money, getting high on alcohol and nights out, you never realise what you’re pissing away. You think what you’re doing is cool, it’s acceptable and it’s ok. It wasn’t ok and it took a lot of pain to realise the shit I was in.
After counselling, a serious reality check with my Parents and a new job, I started a new life, on my own, in Hertfordshire. I also decided to join a gym again to see if I could motivate myself to get into shape and keep to a better lifestyle. Meeting Neale Cranwell – owner of Krunch Gym in Waltham Abbey, Essex and a bodybuilding champion 10 years ago was a huge catalyst to hitting that gym again. He also introduced me back into the sport of bodybuilding which I’m eternally grateful for.
I then became great friends with IFBB Pro’s like Dayo Audi and Eddie Abbew. This enabled me to get closer to the UK bodybuilding scene as I attended my first UKBFF show in 2007. To date, I have attended over 100 bodybuilding shows (including 7 UKBFF British Finals), made a lot of friends – many competitors who motivate and inspire me each day with their posts. As a side note, I exhibited at BodyPower in 2012 and attended every show as a visitor or as part of a supplement brand since the event was launched many years ago.
People have always asked me if I would ever compete in a bodybuilding competition.I would only ever consider getting on stage if I could dedicate the time to be in the best shape of my life out of respect to me, the federation, the fellow competitors and the paying audience.
I’ve also never had any aspirations to become a Personal Trainer – it’s a saturated market and there are enough great people out there with both the qualifications and the experience of competing to make that dream a reality for clients.
The thing I do love doing in this industry is helping others. It’s one of my biggest traits but one I am proud to have. IF I can make a difference in a positive way, then that’s all that matters to me. I get motivated and inspired by many people I follow on Facebook but at the same time I like to encourage those who never give themselves enough credit – in the way they work hard, the way they look or simply the way they are as a person. EVERYBODY has talent, inner and outer beauty and real value to offer people – whether its a guy or a woman.
So I reckon from the overview I just gave you above, I have the experience, some knowledge and a little intelligence to form an opinion about the UK Bodybuilding & Fitness scene and make them public in blog form (even at the risk of anyone still thinking I’m talking unqualified shit and should pipe down).
My first blog will be posted within the next day and will cover some topics I came across in the last week.
Thanks for reading